Vote on food stamp cuts may happen this week

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by Diana Zoga / News 4 | @DIANAZOGA

KMOV.com

Posted on January 27, 2014 at 6:14 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jan 28 at 8:17 AM

(KMOV.com) -- After much back and forth in Congress, the Missouri Association for Social Welfare says it’s watching for a vote on the U.S. farm bill this week.  Glenn Koenen says he’s received word that there’s a bill on the table that would trim around $9 billion from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, over the next decade.  Previously, lawmakers debated cuts that ranged from $4 billion to $40 billion.

“We’re still awaiting the great reveal, the line by line details,” said Koenen.

So far, he expects the $9 billion in cuts would mainly affect eligibility requirements in other states, minimizing changes to local SNAP benefits.

“The big change on food stamps is they’re changing a provision that allowed states to make people eligible for food stamps based on other benefits they were given,” said Koenen.

He explained, “Those states, because people qualified for state utility assistance, could also get food stamps.  Missouri has stayed away from that.  That’s where the biggest changes are expected.”

At Operation Food Search, Gary Wells is also watching for developments on the latest farm bill after seeing a surge in demand last November when other, unrelated cuts went into effect. Stimulus money that was used to increase funding to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, SNAP, in 2009 expired last fall.

“There are still people on the floor on congress which can push for an amendment  to bump it back up to what they’ve proposed before which was $40 billion in cuts over ten years.   And that would cut into everyone’s SNAP benefits,” said Wells.

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